Argos enters Florida through Vulcan concrete, cement plant deal

Sources: CP staff; Vulcan Materials Co., Birmingham, Ala.

Vulcan Materials has announced a definitive agreement to sell Colombia-based Cementos Argos 69 ready mixed and 13 concrete block plantsin Florida and south Georgia; a Newberry, Fla., cement mill; plus, Tampa and Port Manatee cement grinding facilities and terminals for gross cash proceeds of $720 million.

The transaction advances Vulcan Materials’ debt reduction and portfolio streamlining goals, while positioning Argos USA with another major Southeast platform business. Behind the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama and Texas, Florida becomes the fourth market or region where Argos USA concrete and cement properties overlap those of Cemex USA.

Argos USA is adding Florida and south Georgia concrete and cement properties Vulcan inherited with its late-2007 Florida Rock Industries takeover. In a nine-month period ending September 30, the plants, mill and terminals logged a negligible EBITDA loss on $153 million in net sales. Along with a ground-calcium business, Vulcan is retaining all Sunshine State aggregate operations, and entering a 20-year supply agreement netting the divested concrete facilities’ owner sand, gravel and crushed stone at market prices.

“Divesting these non-core cement and concrete assets, at a full and fair valuation, allows us to further enhance our financial strength and strategic focus as the leading aggregates producer in the fastest-growing regions and urban markets of the United States,” says Vulcan Materials Chairman Don James. “Since announcing our asset sale plan in February 2012, we have raised more than $1 billion in proceeds.”